The Colour of Rain is Susan Utting’s fifth full collection, following her New and Selected, Half the Human Race. Here she demonstrates a new-found intimacy with the natural world, a closeness that leads her to become part of it. She ‘becomes’ a Willow Sister, joins an avenue of poplars, has conversations with bees. And while nature is joyfully celebrated, poems also lament its losses: felled trees, disappearing species, Rachel Carson’s all too present ‘Silent Spring’.
The poet’s trademark musicality and dancing rhythms are in evidence throughout the collection’s four sections. Her fascination with language, its sounds and resonances, demonstrate reviewer Philip Gross’s comment that ‘Utting unashamedly loves language, and it seems to love her back.’
From reviews of previous work:
‘Utting animates life’s brittle edges and her poems carry unforced emotional weight.’ — Moniza Alvi
‘Susan Utting is a poet who deeply understands the ritual power of words; her gift is to match this with her keen perception of the rituals inherent in human behaviour. Beyond the attractions of their sensuous diction her finest poems accomplish a strikingly steady focus, both compassionate and uncompromising.’ — Elizabeth Garrett
‘These poems shimmy in the mind long after closing the cover.’ — Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch
Susan Utting. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 68 pages, February 2024.
About the author: Susan Utting was born in South London, moved twenty times in forty years, then settled, after a fashion, in Berkshire. After a patchy education (she failed the eleven plus) and a series of undemanding jobs, she was persuaded by an employer to apply to Reading University to read English. She gained a first-class degree, went on to study Creative Writing at Sussex University, which she then taught at Reading and Oxford Universities for more than 17 years. She is the founder of Reading’s long-running, acclaimed Poets’ Café, which she still regularly hosts. Her awards include an Arts Council Laureateship, a Poetry Business Prize, The Berkshire Poetry Prize, The Peterloo Prize, and a writing fellowship at Reading’s School of English and American Literature. She was a winner in the Bristol International Short Story Competition for 2018, and she was selected by the London Poetry Library to be recorded for Poetry International at the South Bank Centre.
Also by Susan Utting: